Gareth Bale scored an 82nd-minute penalty to cancel out Timothy Weah's first-half opener for the USMNT.
Gregg Berhalter's side were absolutely dominant in the opening stanza, putting up a performance of tremendous verve and enterprise to push the Dragons on the backfoot.
Weah then opened the scoring with a sublime finish beyond Wayne Hennessey after 36 minutes to put the US in front.
Wales, playing their first World Cup match in 64 years, improved after the break, mainly due to Kieffer Moore's introduction as he injected plenty of firepower into their attack.
However, it was still Bale who proved to be the hero as the Welsh skipper won a penalty late on and stepped up to nonchalantly convert it himself.
A share of the spoils leaves the US and Wales at one point each after the opening round of fixtures. In their next clash, the former will face England while the Dragons are up against Iran.
Here are the player ratings:
USA Player Ratings
Matt Turner - 7/10
The US custodian was barely tested but wonderfully tipped Ben Davies' effort over the bar in the 64th minute but couldn't keep out Bale from 12 yards.
Sergino Dest - 6/10
He was the first to be booked in the game for an overzealous challenge on Neco Williams, which essentially set the tone for the rest of his evening.
Walker Zimmerman - 6.5/10
His six clearances on the evening were a testament to his excellent reading and positioning, but Zimmerman was guilty of conceding the penalty to Wales for a challenge on Bale.
Tim Ream - 7.5/10
The veteran was rock solid defensively, making three clearances and two interceptions, while also timing his tackles to perfection.
Antonee Robinson - 6.5/10
Robinson's perfectly-timed interception denied Aaron Ramsey a chance to break into the box in the first half.
Weston McKennie - 5.5/10
A below-average display from the Juventus man as he struggled to bring his A-game to the fore.
Tyler Adams - 8.5/10
Energetic, industrious and resolute, Adams was perhaps the best player for the US on the night.
His passing range was incredible and impeded Wales with crunch tackles.
Yunus Musah - 6/10
The Valencia midfielder's passing was crisp and drew a foul off of Bale, but that was about as good as it got for him.
Timothy Weah - 7.5/10
He put the US in front with a wonderful finish beyond Hennessey.
Josh Sargent - 7/10
He saw an effort come off the outside of the post early on before combining with Pulisic for Weah's opener.
Christian Pulisic - 7.5/10
The Chelsea star was a hub of creativity for the US and set up Weah's opener with a brilliant throughball too.
Brenden Aaronson (66' for McKennie) - 6/10
His attempt to head home a corner instead flew well over the bar.
DeAndre Yedlin (74' for Dest) - 6/10
Yedlin sent in a cross deep into stoppage time but Hennessey punched it away.
Jordan Morris (88' for Weah) - N/A
He replaced Weah in the closing stages of the match to see the game off.
Wales Player Ratings
Wayne Hennessey - 7/10
He made a crucial save to prevent Joe Rodon from scoring an own goal in the ninth minute and had no chance with Weah's strike.
Chris Mepham - 6.5/10
The centre-back roughed up Christian Pulisic a few times and even went into the books for that. But overall, he was solid on defense.
Joe Rodon - 6.5/10
Rodon almost turned the ball into his own net in the ninth minute but was spared the blushes by his goalkeeper.
Ben Davies - 6.5/10
A major aerial threat and saw an effort from close range tipped over the bar by Turner.
Connor Roberts - 6.5/10
His crosses weren't always the best, but Roberts' persistence and desire caused the USMNT some trouble.
Aaron Ramsey - 6.5/10
The OGC Nice midfielder failed to offer much threat and was impeded on the break by Robinson in the first half.
Ethan Ampadu - 7.5/10
A livewire in the middle of the park with his infectious energy and unbridled courage, Ampadu was a thorn in the face of the USA.
Harry Wilson - 7.5/10
Wilson covered excellently for the back four, making three clearances and tackles each, while also laying some excellent crosses.
His night was hampered by an injury in the 90th minute.
Neco Williams - 7/10
He was roughed up for most of the match with nasty challenges and even appeared to pick up a back injury late on.
Performance-wise, though, Williams came up big defensively with his ball-winning capabilities and some crucial interceptions.
Gareth Bale - 7.5/10
The Wales skipper salvaged a poor outing by converting an 82nd-minute penalty that he won himself.
Daniel James - 4/10
He seemed completely lost in the opening period when the US had Wales on the backfoot and was put out of his misery at the break.
Kieffer Moore (46' for James) - 8/10
His introduction changed the match for Wales as Moore added so much energy and verve to their attack.
Brennan Johnson (79' for Williams) - 6/10
He struggled to get himself involved in the closing stages.
Joe Morrell (90' for Ampadu) - N/A
He failed to add any value in stoppage time.
Sorba Thomas (90' for Wilson) - N/A
Too little, too late.